BARANGAY Ginebra coach Tim Cone admitted the Gin Kings immediately faced a matchup problem when they had to play Star in their first game in the PBA Philippine Cup.
The Gin Kings started a new era under Cone on the wrong foot by absorbing an 86-78 setback at the hands of the Hotshots, a team that had been running the triangle offense for the last four years.
“If we had to pick a team to play in the first game, Purefoods would be the worst pick,” Cone admitted. “What we've been doing for two months, they've been doing for four years.”
“They knew us, they knew the things that would disrupt us, they knew the things that would give us problems in terms of our execution,” he added.
Cone admitted he was outcoached by former deputy and now Hotshots coach Jason Webb.
“Jason came out and played zone, played all different kinds of defenses and just didn't allow our guys to execute,” the American mentor said. “It was one of those games where I totally got outcoached…and we didn't prepare for what Jason is going to throw at us.”
“That's my bad,” he was quick to add. “It happens, but it won't happen again. I appreciate our guys' effort.”
The effort showed when the Gin Kings mounted on a late comeback from a huge double-digit deficit that allowed them to come within eight points.
Still, Ginebra came up short, but Cone played down the loss.
“I’m sure the fans don’t want to hear about this and maybe I shouldn’t say this, but in the big scheme of things, who cares? It’s just one game.”
“We don’t have to be good right now,” he added. “We have to be good come playoff time. We will get better and hopefully we become good at the right time.”
"I like this team we have and we have a good future ahead of us," concluded Cone, who gladly answered questions, an unusual sight after a loss.